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Ticket sales rise to £148.5 million

11/23/2007 AT 06:17

Traveller numbers rose during the third quarter, with Eurostar carrying 2.23 million travellers – an increase 3.6% against the same period last year. Ticket revenues totalled £148.5 million – an increase of 13.8% driven both by increasing numbers of business passengers and by higher demand during the Rugby World Cup.

The business travel market remained very strong, with the volume of business sales rising by 12.9%. Corporate travellers continue to choose Eurostar rather than the airlines to reduce their carbon footprint on short-haul journeys between London and Paris / Brussels, and to take advantage of Eurostar's unique Business Premier class with its 10-minute check-in and quiet, work-focused onboard environment.

Eurostar estimates that it carried at least 125,000 passengers to and from Rugby World Cup matches and ran 19 extra services during the tournament carrying 13,000 additional travellers.

The rise in passenger numbers is expected to be boosted by the announcement today of through fares from 68 UK towns and cities to the Continent. Tickets go on sale from 14 November and lowest fares range from £67 - £92. [For further details see separate press release issued today.]

Eurostar maintained its impressive punctuality record with 91.1% of trains arriving on time or early. This punctuality level is also a key factor in persuading business travellers to switch from plane to train on the London-Paris and London-Brussels routes.

Ticket sales in international markets (those outside Eurostar's core markets of the UK, France and Belgium) remained strong – growing by 14.2% against the same period in 2006.

Richard Brown, Chief Executive of Eurostar, said: “These are very strong results. Eurostar's continued growth in traveller numbers - especially in the crucial business sector - shows that growing environmental concern and a desire for a hassle-free travel experience are persuading more people to choose Eurostar rather than the airlines.

“These are the final set of results for a full quarter of Eurostar operations to and from Waterloo International. On 14 November we will launch services from our new London home at St Pancras International.

“Eurostar journeys will be quicker and, with the introduction of through fares to the Continent from 68 towns and cities across Britain, more accessible to millions more people living in the UK regions. We are confident that these changes will mean our traveller numbers continue to rise.”

Eurostar will end services from Waterloo International on Tuesday 13 November and will switch overnight to its new London station, St Pancras International, where it will launch services on Wednesday 14 November. Services from St Pancras International will be at least 20 minutes quicker, with non-stop London-Paris journeys falling to 2 hours 15 minutes and London-Brussels down to just 1 hour 51 minutes.

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The official opening of the beautifully restored St Pancras International by HM Queen Elizabeth II this evening (Tuesday 6th November) will herald one week to go until the launch of Eurostar services from the station.

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More than 110,000 passengers book travel on HS1

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Railteam facilitates cross-border travel

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Eurostar, the high-speed passenger train operator that links the UK with the Continent, announced that Ebbsfleet International station will open to travellers on Monday 19 November.

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